Kevin Saunderson is a producer and DJ from Detroit, acknowledged worldwide as one of the three innovators of Techno and an artist continually reshaping Dance Music’s future.
“Without the originators, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May – electronic music today would probably look very different. It’s safe to say they’re the ones who started it…” – Moby
Moving to the suburbs of Detroit at an early age, Kevin joined Belleville High School where he befriended two like-minded students: Derrick May and Juan Atkins. Throughout their teens they bonded over music, citing the pop, disco and funk records spun by DJ Charles “The Electrifying Mojo” Johnson as a profound influence.
Starting off as a DJ and under the technically focussed guidance of Juan, Kevin began producing. ‚Triangle of Love‘ was born out of these early sessions, with the track finding a home on Juan’s legendary Metroplex label.
“I used to wake up in the middle of the night, go into my studio, and lay down ideas as they came to me. At the time it was all about experimentation.” – Kevin Saunderson
Following this period of discovery Inner City, arguably Kevin’s greatest achievement, came to be. The result of an accidental pairing with Paris Grey, Inner City established itself as one of the world’s most influential Dance acts. Discovered by UK music entrepreneur Neil Rushton, Kevin and Paris shot to stardom with ‚Big Fun‘ and the adored follow up ‚Good Life‘. This immediate success was propelled by their debut album ‘Paradise’, which cemented Inner City’s role as prime time movers in the House and Techno revolution of the late 80s and early 90s.
To date, Inner City has 12 Top 40 UK hits and two Top 20 albums, with four Gold singles, one Gold album and one Platinum album to their name, alongside many awards and accolades. It comes as no surprise that recent announcements of new Inner City material has been met with unrestrained excitement across the globe.
E-Dancer, the alias created by Kevin to satisfy his more underground leanings, is also no stranger to critical acclaim. Since its inception, E-Dancer has created seminal Techno in its purest form culminating in the album ‘Heavenly’, released on Carl Craig’s iconic Planet E imprint and described by Spin Magazine as “one of the best 10 albums you’ve never heard”.
Another career defining moment came in the form of a new job title as Producer of Fuse-In, an annual event in Detroit now known as Movement Electronic Music Festival. During his time in this role, Kevin was committed to highlighting Dance culture’s progressive qualities, alongside the rich musical heritage of The Motor City.
Not only praised for the creation of Techno, Kevin was the first to mould and develop the art of the remix. Replacing a track with his own music, he would only keep the original artist’s lyrics. This technique was first introduced when Kevin reinterpreted ‘Heat it Up’ by the Wee Papa Girl Rappers.
Throughout most of his musical endeavours, Kevin has released material under various pseudonyms on his own KMS label, which was partly set up for this purpose. From dropping songs under the guises of Kreem, Reese, Inner City, E-Dancer, Tronik House and more, to promoting the works of esteemed contemporaries, KMS became one of the most important techno labels in Detroit’s history. Now a family-run affair, Kevin continues to work on KMS with his two sons Dantiez and DaMarii.